I have to say that Amelia makes my favorite Thanksgiving turkey. Her secret? Flippin’ the bird! She starts off roasting the turkey breast side down then, as the turkey gets to be close to being done, she flips the bird over and bastes, bastes, bastes until the breast is golden brown. The turkey comes out perfect (and super juicy) every time. I’ve used this technique in my own cooking ever since.
Another great technique I learned when living with our older sister and her family was herbing and freezing butter, then forming it into a log, freezing it, cut it into medallions then placing on hot pork chops. So, I thought I could use the same technique, place the medallions between the skin and meat of the chicken and then use Amelia’s technique of flippin’ the bird. The result is a moist bird with great flavor!
Last night I had a beautiful organic, free range chicken to work with so I decided to roast it using these same two techniques. Here’s how it works out:
Herb Butter Roasted Chicken or Turkey
One stick of butter, softened
2 cloves minced garlic
A few sprigs of chive, minced
A few small sprigs of parsley, minced
Two sprigs of thyme
One sprig of rosemary leaves, minced
Pinch of dried oregano
A few basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Mix all ingredients together until well blended, place butter on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, form into a log, wrap tightly then place the log in the freezer.
One whole chicken or turkey (innards removed from cavity)
One tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup white wine
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the chicken in the pan and carefully run your finger between the skin and meat to loosen the skin. Remove frozen butter log from freezer, slice into medallions and place the medallions in between the meat and skin. Rub the remaining oil on the outside of the chicken then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the wine in the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven, breast side down, cover pan with aluminum foil and cook for 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully flip the chicken over and return, uncovered, to the oven. Baste chicken every 5 minutes until skin is golden and a leg, when pulled on, pulls off the body easily. Total cooking time should be an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. A thermometer inserted into a thigh next to the bone should read 165. Remove bird from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Do you buy fresh herbs? I always use to purchase fresh herbs at the store. I love the flavor and color they lend to dishes. But I also find that I would purchase a whole bundle of herbs (at a premium price), only use a small portion of them and find the rest of it in a soggy, shrivled mess in the bottom of my refrigerator drawer a few days later. I just couldn’t take it any more. So, I decided to grow my own herb garden. Now I use only what I need, when I need it. All of the herbs I used in this dish came from my garden. Herb gardens are really easy to grow and can save you a pile of money at the grocery store. Give them plenty of sun, intermittent watering and use often. If you want some tips on how to prolong the life of your storebought basil, be sure to check out Amelia’s post on storing basil.